Herbarium Management


[University of Florida Herbarium]

  Libraries and Special Paper-based Collections

  1. Rationale, Justification, Administration
    • "A herbarium without a library simply cannot function."
      • Fosberg, F.R. and M.-H. Sachet. 1965. Manual for tropical herbaria. Regnum Vegetabile, vol. 39. International Bureau for Plant Taxonomy and Nomenclature, Utrecht, Netherlands. p.83.
    • Nomenclature is rooted in historical documents, discourse and conclusions.
    • Plant identification heavily relies on keys, descriptions and illustrations.
    • Legal or other directives in support of building a library. E.g., the Florida Statutes states that the Florida Museum of Natural History shall build a library to support its programs. Laws may also help in the procurement of library materials.
    • Funding sources? Agencies such as United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) provide grants to small intitutions in foreign countries to assist in building libraries. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) provides grants for library-related projects.
    • Administrative relationships within the department, institution and libraries. E.g., UF Herbarium has a coordination of collection development agreement with the UF Libraries.
    • Paradigm shift - THE INTERNET..
  2. Location, Access, Policies
    • Locate near to collections and researchers for easy access.
    • Balance access with security of the materials : consider rare materials and materials that are targets for theft and pilfering.
    • Circulation policy : reference only vs. full check-out priveledges.
    • Develop a written policy.
  3. Storage Issues
    • Shelving materials : archival storage considerations, e.g. acid-free papers, metals shelving.
    • Storage of special materials : maps, reprints, microfiche, computer disks.
    • Environmental conditions : temperature, humidity, light (UV filters).
    • Protection from hazards : food, beverage, theft, water leaks.
  4. Acquisitions
    • Types of acquisitions :
      -purchase (use the internet to find a good value). Useful search engines include: AbeBooks, Amazon.com, BookHQ, AllBookstores.com
      -gift: some goverment agencies provide free literature to research and educational institutions;
      -exchange: publications exchange is an excellent way to build collections;
      -wish lists: keep a wish list to be ready to spend flushes of money at a moments notice.
    • Selection of materials : selection committee, suggestions box/email.
    • Types of materials : floras, monographs, serials, references re: standards and nomenclature, economic botany, weeds, historic documents.
  5. Cataloging and Inventory Control
  6. Shelving and Arrangement : separating rare and oversize books.
  7. Disposal of duplicate materials : Use duplicates for exchange to other institutions. See duplicates to raise funds for more purchases.

[University of Florida Herbarium]
University of Florida Herbarium collections:
Vascular Plants | Herbarium Library
Bryophyte and Lichens | Mycological
Wood | Paleobotany (affiliated collection)
[Florida Museum of Natural History]

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Last page design update: 7 Nov 2005
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